I don’t know about you guys, but I just love the beginning of a new studio season. It puts a buzz in the air. I love that the summer brings people back fully energised to engage in class, and if we’re really honest we’re also a bit more energised too!

What gives us this buzz? That fact we’re back in the place that we love, doing the thing we love, but above all else the anticipation of the potential the new season brings. What goals will we achieve? Who is going to finally breakthrough on that step they’ve been battling with? What fun are we going to have along the way?

How I Plan

In order to achieve all these goals I believe in planning my season out. What goals do I want to hit each term with my classes? I plan out my season with the macro goals I set out to achieve with each class. Then I plan out how am I going to reach those by identifying the areas we need to work on in order to achieve those macro goals successfully. Then I use those areas as my micro goals— the smaller steps needed to lay the foundation for achieving the bigger leaps.

These smaller goals might be things like rhythm concepts, improvisation goals, specific steps, and technique. Then I devise ways of making each of these things approachable and achievable so that my students can find success in their development and towards achieving the bigger goals, which all add to their sense of accomplishment in the dance.

The key word for me there is ‘success’. In order to find enjoyment you need to run that fine line between challenging your students and helping them find success. If there’s no challenge they get bored because it’s too easy and is not challenging them. If it’s too difficult then they feel like they’re never going to find the joy in getting it, and I love it when I see a student who has finally mastered a step—they’re always so happy!

Thinking outside the box to explain concepts is something I love doing. Don’t want that foot coming from behind for the shuffle? Stand them against the mirror to practise. They will definitely avoid risking hitting that! Finding new ways, particularly for kids, to explain things and make concepts relatable to the students’ world is definitely worth spending time on. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to give them that light bulb moment.

How do you like to plan your studio season?

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